Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe

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Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe

If you’ve never had pork belly burnt ends, you haven’t lived. They may look quite fatty and it can scare people off from trying, but give it a shot. Try them. You’ll have a new favorite recipe to share for the Game Day or Super Bowl party.

The beauty about making smoked pork belly burnt ends is how easy it is. There is very little preparation, only a few ingredients are needed, and as long as you have 4-5 hours, you’ll have enough time to make a perfect batch.

In this recipe I’m going to use a pellet grill which makes this very easy to do. Any pellet grill will do as long as it provides 230F and 300F for heat temps. I decided to give my Traeger a break and did these on my new Yoder YS640s which has been a dream to use. The Yoder has been providing me very consistent smoke temperatures which is crucial when you are doing any kind of smoking.

What is Pork Belly?

Quite literally, it is the belly portion of the pig. Pork belly can come with skin on or skinless. For this recipe we are using skinless. As you can see in the picture below, pork belly contains a lot of fat. Based on the picture below, can you determine what other meat cut comes from pork belly? That’s right, bacon is made from pork belly. If you cure and smoke pork belly, and cut it into thin strips, you are left with bacon. Pork Belly is also one of our favorite meats to smoke.

Raw Pork Belly
Raw Pork Belly

What wood Should I use To Smoke Pork Belly?

Pork works with so many different kinds of woods. I typically use pecan or apple, however maple, peach and orange are also good pics. Fruit woods seem to compliment pork very well. Read our guide to smoking woods for pork to learn more.

How To Make Pork Belly Burnt Ends

This recipe is simple and probably one of the easier meats to smoke for a beginner. It comes down to a couple basic steps. Cut/Cube, Rub, Smoke, Braise, Sauce and serve.

Ingredients

  • 1 Skinless Pork Belly – Recipe based on 2.5 lbs.
  • Pork Rub – Try our Pork Rub that we use for ribs. Works great on this recipe.
  • 1/3 Cup of Apple Juice or 50/50 ratio Apple Cider Vinegar with Water
  • 1/2 Cup of BBQ Sauce: I prefer sweet or whiskey BBQ sauce with this. Our Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce works great.
  • 1/3 Cup Liquid Honey

Equipment

  • Smoker: Using Pellet Smokers in This Recipe. Any will do.
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cup

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker to 230F.
  • Start with a skinless pork belly. I used a 2.5 lbs. pork belly for this recipe, but you can easily find 5-6 lbs. pork belly’s at your local butcher. Simply cut the pork belly into 1.5″ x 1.5″ cubes. You can go larger if you like. After they are cubed, I use mustard or cooking oil to lightly coat the cubes. Make sure they are covered on both sides. This helps the rub bind to the pork belly. I then apply one of my favorite pork rubs (you can try our pork rib rub as it works well for this). Make sure every side is covered evenly with rub.
Pork Belly Cubed and Rub Applied
Cubed and rub applied.
  • Depending on your smoker grill racks, you can simply place the cubed pork belly on the racks as long as they will not fall through. If you have large gaps in your grill racks, first place the cubes on a cooling rack that won’t allow the cubes to fall through (as they shrink when being cooked), then place the cube filled cooling rack into the smoker. You’ll smoke the pork belly cubes for approximately 3 hours at 230F.
Pork Belly Cubes on Cooling rack in Smoker
Pork Belly Cubes on Cooling Rack
Cooling Racks
Cooling Racks
  • After the 3 hours of smoke, the pork belly cubes should have a nice brown/red color to them. They are ready for the next step.
Browned Pork Belly Cubes
Smoked Pork Belly Cubes Browning
  • Remove the pork belly cubes from the smoker and increase the smoker temp to 300F. Lay out some heavy duty tin foil and put the pork belly cubes in the foil. I like to add a bit more rub to the pork belly at this time, so sprinkle some on. Then pour in some of the apple juice (the apple juice will help braise the pork belly) followed by a good glazing of the liquid honey. Wrap the pork belly tight with the tin foil.
Adding more rub to pork belly
Adding more rub
Adding apple juice to pork belly
Pouring apple juice
Glazing Honey on Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Glazing with honey
Wrapped Pork belly burnt ends
Wrapped tightly in foil
  • Put the wrapped pork belly burnt ends back in the smoker and cook for another 45-60 mins. This really helps render the fat on the pork belly.
  • After the 45-60 mins, remove the wrapped pork belly, open the foil and pour in your BBQ sauce. I mentioned earlier that I prefer sauces that are sweet or are whiskey based. Our Jack Daniels BBQ sauce recipe works well. Use whatever you prefer. Sweet always works with pork. I typically drizzle some more honey on at this point. Use a spoon and mix the pork belly burnt ends with the sauce. Get them coated nicely.
Pork Belly Burnt Ends Nearing Finish
Almost done
Adding BBQ Sauce to Burnt Ends
Add a sweet or whiskey based sauce.
  • Wrap the foil tight and put back in the smoker for another 30 mins. After the 30 minutes of the final cooking in the BBQ sauce, remove from the smoker, allow to cool for a couple minutes (it will be hot) and serve. That’s what I call meat candy.

Thank you for trying out pork belly burnt ends recipe. If you enjoyed it, try some of our other pork or beef recipes and learn how to BBQ right.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Pork Belly Burnt Ends – Meat Candy

This is what I call meat candy. Pork belly burnt ends are one of my favorite BBQ sides. The pork belly renders beautifully and melts in your mouth. Using sweet BBQ sauces with honey really make this pork based recipe shine.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 45 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, BBQ
Keyword: how to make pork belly burnt ends, pork belly burnt ends, smoked pork belly
Servings: 6
Calories: 1084kcal
Author: Michael Haas
Cost: $18

Equipment

  • smoker Using Pellet Smokers in This Recipe. Any will do.
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cup

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs. Skinless Pork Belly
  • Pork Rub Try our Pork Rub that we use for ribs. Works great on this recipe.
  • 1/3 Cup Apple Juice Optional: 50/50 ratio Apple Cider Vinegar with Water
  • 1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce: I prefer sweet or whiskey BBQ sauce with this. Our Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce works great.
  • 1/3 Cup Liquid Honey

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker to 230F.
  • Start with a skinless pork belly. I used a 2.5 lbs. pork belly for this recipe but you can easily find 5-6 lbs. pork belly’s at your local butcher. Simply cut the pork belly into 1.5″ x 1.5″ cubes. You can go larger if you like. After they are cubed, I use mustard or cooking oil to lightly coat the cubes. Make sure they are covered on both sides. This helps the rub bind to the pork belly. I then apply one of my favorite pork rubs (you can try our pork rib rub as it works well for this). Make sure every side is covered evenly with rub.
    Pork Belly Cubed and Rub Applied
  • Depending on your smoker grill racks, you can simply place the cubed pork belly on the racks as long as they will not fall through. If you have large gaps in your grill racks, first place the cubes on a cooling rack that won’t allow the cubes to fall through (as they shrink when being cooked), then place the cube filled cooling rack into the smoker. You’ll smoke the pork belly cubes for approximately 3 hours at 230F.
    Pork Belly Cubes on Cooling rack in Smoker
  • After the 3 hours of smoke, the pork belly cubes should have a nice brown/red color to them. They are ready for the next step.
    Browned Smoked Pork Belly Cubes
  • Remove the pork belly cubes from the smoker and increase the smoker temp to 300F. Lay out some heavy-duty tin foil and put the pork belly cubes in the foil. I like to add a bit more rub to the pork belly at this time, so sprinkle some on. Then pour in some of the apple juice (the apple juice will help braise the pork belly) followed by a good glazing of the liquid honey. Wrap the pork belly tight with the tin foil.
    Glazing Honey on Pork Belly Burnt Ends
  • Put the wrapped pork belly burnt ends back in the smoker and cook for another 45-60 mins. This really helps render the fat on the pork belly.
  • After the 45-60 mins, remove the wrapped pork belly, open the foil and pour in your BBQ sauce. I mentioned earlier that I prefer sauces that are sweet or a whiskey based sauce. Our Jack Daniels BBQ sauce recipe works well. Use whatever you prefer. Sweet always works with pork. I typically drizzle some more honey on at this point. Use a spoon and mix the pork belly burnt ends with the sauce. Get them coated nicely.
    Adding BBQ Sauce to Burnt Ends
  • Wrap the foil tight and put back in the smoker for another 30 mins. After the 30 minutes of the final cooking in the BBQ sauce, remove from the smoker, allow to cool for a couple minutes (it will be hot) and serve. That’s what I call meat candy.

Nutrition

Calories: 1084kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 100g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 47g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

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